The e-mails come from parents who have singletons and multiples, grandparents and health care providers.
There are three issues that are weighing on most peoples minds – the future health of these babies, reducing the fetuses when the number of babies is revealed and the shameless promotion of them to receive financial support.
The media circus around the births of these megamultiples appears to be leaving out the fact that carrying this many babies is not natural or healthy. Just hours after delivering her 30 week sextuplets, last week, Jenny Masche almost died from heart problems due to the huge volume of blood she was carrying in her body while pregnant. When the babies were delivered, some the extra blood flooded out of her uterus and “stretched her heart and blood vessels to a very, very critical level.
An increased chance of gestational diabetes, risks for hypertension, stroke and preeclampsia are also some of the other issues that these multiple birth moms face.
It may seem exciting and unbelievable that so many babies were born at the same time, but it is not safe. Any baby born before 32 weeks runs the risk of having long term health problems. Carrying, triplets, quads or quints past 30 weeks is difficult guaranteeing that the babies will all need to be admitted to the NICU to grow further on arrival.
This, of course, brings up the issue of fetal reduction. I can see why both couples chose not to reduce the fetus’ growing inside their wombs. The procedure is similar to an abortion and needs to be performed between 9 and 11 weeks gestation. It would be hard for a parent who has been trying for many years to conceive to decide that they do not want to keep one or more of their ‘babies’.
You can, however, get caught up in the previous success stories of other multiple families which sometimes makes couples feel invincible. Not all pregnancies are the same, therefore you cannot expect to have the same outcome as other moms.
I truly believe that the Morrison babies were delivered and resuscitated because they were a high profile case. There are not many hospitals that would resuscitate a 22 week old baby, let alone 6. When I was 23 weeks 5 days pregnant and in labour, the OB told me that they were not going to save my baby if he was born that day. They strongly believed that any baby born before 24/25 weeks would have such extensive health issues that it is better to just not try and in this case they were wrong. My son was born at 24 weeks 1 day and is currently thriving like any 18 month old baby. That is not to say that he would have had the same outcome if forced to arrive 2 weeks prior to his birth date.
I don’t believe that these parents realize what they have signed up for. Your yearly trip to Mexico – will no longer happen. Personal time – gone. Co-ordinating nurses, therapists, pediatricians and specialists will become your full time job after you are done dealing with endless laundry, feedings and diaper changes.
The last issue is summed up by a GYB reader Anna
When I had my triplets there was no foundation set up to support our family and no registry posted on our website. We made due with what we had and got support from friends and family. What makes these families any different? Where do there get off thinking that the rest of us should support their family? My husband works 2 jobs because I have to stay home with our boys. We don’t have the luxuries that we used to have, but everyone is fed and happy. I think it is ridiculous for this family (Masche family) to suggest that the rest of us could contribute to their new truck or nursery. You made the decision to have six babies, it is your responsibility to support them! (the truck has been since removed from the site with the 3 registries still listed)
MANY readers feel the way that Anna does. Moms who have twins, triplets and single babies have been writing, echoing these same sentiments. They have had to support their families the old fashioned way – by working over time or 2 jobs. Now that the Morrison 6 is now just triplets. Should they still warrant the donations that were intended for 6 babies? Some people think no. After all, there were over 7,000 sets of triplets born in the U.S. last year.
Everyone has their reasons why they think that fertility drugs should be monitored more closely. Mine is that I think it is sad that women are having ‘litters’. We were not meant to deliver 5, 6, or 7 babies at a time. That’s why your chance of having ‘natural’ triplets is 1 in 8,100 (only about 30% of triplets are ‘natural’), ‘natural’ quads is 1 in 729,000 (only about 6% of quads are ‘natural’) and ‘natural’ quints is 1 in 55,000,000.
Now that the babies are here I hope that the population can set aside their animosity for how they got here and wish them the BEST. I suspect that these moms probably thought that having six babies would be better than not having any at all…
After the fanfare is over and the cameras have moved on to the next sensation, both moms will have a lot of work ahead of them to keep their multiples safe, fed and loved.
We wish them the best – let’s hope they’re up to the challenge.